Venue, Times & Cost
The group meets monthly on a Sunday from 10am–1pm by times vary so do check. The venue and date vary each month too as different people host the group. Please contact Gordon to get details of meetings if they are not up on the website.
The group is limited in number (6-12) depending on the venue and pre-booking is required. There is no fee but an optional donation (dana) is invited for the host of the meeting and for Gordon’s facilitation of the group.
Format of the Group
The format for meetings is roughly as follows:
- 10am Arrive & tea/chat
- 10.15 Personal introductions & sharing round
- 10.30 Meditation (including Focusing style ‘lead-in’)
- 10.40 Focusing demo/Questions & Answers (if there are people new to Focusing)
- 11.00 Focusing in 2’s or 3’s
- 12.30 Group sharing/questions
- 1.00pm Finish
This format will vary to adapt to the needs of the group on the day.
People new to Focusing are generally partnered by more experienced companions.
Bristol Insight Meditation Focusing Group has been meeting monthly since 2007, originally at Bristol Zen Dojo, and now at group members’ homes in the area.
The group is an open group, where people new to Focusing as well as more experienced practitioners can meet and Focus together. The group has offered a doorway into Focusing for hundreds of people over the years, and many people who initially experienced Focusing through the group have gone on to become regular Focusers.
The group is held by Gordon Adam, a qualified and experienced BFA (British Focusing Association) recognised Focusing Practitioner, who runs Focusing groups, workshops and retreats.
Focusing is a gentle and powerful way of working with a companion to access a wide range of body-based knowing, or not-yet-conscious information. Focusing was developed by Eugene Gendlin, arising from collaborative research with Carl Rogers in Chicago in the 60’s and 70’s.
Gendlin has named the total body-mind experience of any situation as ‘the felt sense’ – this includes physical sensation, thought, emotion, memory, image, story, etc – however, the felt sense is much more than these individual ‘facets’.
“The felt sense, which I also call ‘the edge of awareness’, is the centre of the personality. It comes between the usual conscious person and the deep, universal reaches of human nature, where we are no longer ourselves. It is open to what comes from those universals, but it feels like ‘really me’.” Eugene Gendlin
Accessing the ‘inner truth’ or felt sense of any life situation (work, relationship, spirituality, life path, etc) naturally leads to insight, integration, and a creative, life-enhancing shift of consciousness.
Focusing in Practice
In an exchange session, the Focuser, with the support of the companion, brings her awareness into whatever is arising in her body-mind. The companion’s role is to support the Focuser in staying present with whatever arises. The Focuser finds words to describe her experience, and key descriptive words are reflected back by the companion – this supports a sense of presence and ‘being heard’, and enables a deepening into the experience.
“The body sense is unclear and vague at first, but if you pay attention it will open up into words or images and you experience a felt shift in your body. In the process of Focusing, one experiences a physical change in the way that the issue is being lived in the body…. The whole issue looks different and new solutions arise.” Eugene Gendlin
Each person generally takes a turn of being Focuser and companion respectively for an agreed time – typically 15-45 minutes. Most Focusing happens in Focusing partnerships, where 2 people agree to meet on a regular basis to Focus together.
Contact & Further information
For further information about Focusing in general, and for a list of qualified practitioners, see the BFA website: www.focusing.org.uk
Click on the link for Gordon’s article “Focusing & Insight Meditation: an experiential comparison”
Contact Gordon for information about Focusing locally or about the group:
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 0117 9080494 or 07796 087351